“I was 12 years old and I was watching a TV commercial and I saw Christy Turlington in a Maybelline ad. She was walking down a New York City street, turning around and looking all cute at the camera and I remember thinking, “I want to be that girl,” the Maybelline girl. I crossed my fingers and prayed every night until I got the Maybelline contract when I was 18. I was so into it! Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara was the only makeup I owned up until I was 20. That really shaped my whole makeup career and life.
My modeling career started when I was 12 years old at a family BBQ. This lady at the BBQ asked me to do a Benetton fashion show in San Francisco and there was a modeling scout there who asked me to come in. From 12 to 17 years old, I modeled in San Francisco. It definitely wasn’t high fashion but I was doing some gigs. I was modeling for Esprit, Macy’s, and Levis and the makeup was very natural looking but I was always interested at how the makeup would transform me from shoot to shoot. I was a different person at each of these shoots and I found it really fascinating being able to change into a different character through makeup. I’ve always seen makeup as an art form, so I would ask the makeup artists if they studied painting. They were always using their fingers to blend instead of using a proper brush. Everyone had their own technique and it felt very creative and artistic. My question to these makeup artists was always the same, “What is your interest in painting and art?” and they would all have their own stories and it was just so interesting. I never saw makeup as something as simple as stuff that’s put on my face because I’m a model. For me, it was and is a very beautiful, artistic experience.
Becoming the Maybelline girl threw me into a much deeper business of makeup. I learned about marketing a brand, behind-the-scenes of product launches, and how they decide on colors – the whole breadth of the business of makeup which was all very interesting to me because I’m an entrepreneur by heart. I also got to work with the best makeup artists in the world. They were doing serious makeup looks on me and we had tons of shoots every year. I became really interested in the makeup artistry of it – the techniques and colors. On the flip side, I was also really excited about the business aspect.
I came from San Francisco from a very healthy, socially conscious family, so when I realized I really enjoyed this business and I enjoyed the power of makeup on me, I began to look into what was in makeup – natural makeup, toxic makeup, what was good for me, etc. Every single person told me it would be impossible to create high performing natural makeup. I didn’t think that was true and I wanted to prove them wrong, for my own rebel sake. I also still wanted to wear makeup but didn’t want the negative effects of it. My grandmother had breast cancer, so I am really sensitive to chemicals. My mom has chronic fatigue syndrome and she’s had it for 20 years. Any chemical in our life was a no-no. I wanted to see if I could make great makeup that was also good for you and that was the beginning!
I didn’t do my own makeup for a long time because I was spoiled and had makeup put on me everyday, all day, by the best people. Once I became very interested in makeup, I started to pay attention and I found there’s this whole vault of secrets and tricks. I learned from the best. Most of the makeup artists I worked with used their hands and their fingers. I felt like I was their canvas and they were finger painting. I would buy the same products they were using on me and I would go home and play with these looks. Eventually, I would make all my favorite products, but naturally.
Now I do my own makeup and that really came with time, as my confidence grew. I do makeup for my friends and I teach people how to put on makeup, because makeup seems really scary at first but it’s really not. It’s a total confidence booster for women to know how to put on their own makeup and to also know that it looks good and feels good. I use my fingers mostly and I constantly blend. It’s kind of like chalk pastels, which I love doing as well, so I suppose that’s my connection to makeup. A lot of powders and creams are like that, so I just put them on and blend and blend and add. It’s really fun. My signature look and the one thing I love is eyeliner in the inner rim of my eye. I also love golds, coppers, and browns – a smokey eye, blended out. And a natural pinky lip.
Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler: I’m obsessed, I can’t live without it, and I have a serious addiction when the curler pulls at my lashes. It’s like when a smoker needs nicotine in their lungs, I need to tug on my lashes.
Priti Nail Polish: It’s a natural nail polish brand. I like naked nails, like a pinky light pink and I also love a sparkling navy blue. I’m obsessed with that on my toes. It’s like a starry night on my toes. The first time I did it, I felt so connected to everything and powerful, but now I just love how intense it looks.
Mason Pearson Brush: My dad is partly from London and I just grew up with this brand. It feels so good and I feel like it’s taking care of my hair.
Plantlife Lavender 100% Pure Essential Oil: It’s a little dropper that you can get at Whole Foods. I put a tiny bit on my palms and on my neck, and sometimes on my pillow at night. Before any big show or presentation, I put it on. Lavender is super calming, simple, not too expensive, and just a really easy way to calm your senses. I never used any kind of fragrance when I was young, but I grew up with lavender. We used to have it growing in our yard. I’m currently working on a natural fragrance right now!
Josie Maran Argan Balm: We have a travel size now. This is used often for your eyebrows to keep them in place, as a hair styling balm, and also for any intensely dry areas like elbows.
Josie Maran Argan Oil: This is great for hydrating cuticles and under your eyes. The travel size goes with me everywhere.
Josie Maran Argan Brightening Bronzer: I’m obsessed with this. I think bronzer helps you look healthier. A great trick when applying bronzer, is to make the number 3 from your temple down to your chin. So with your bronzer brush, start at your forehead/temple, curve into your cheekbone as if you were writing the number 3 and then curve under your chin. Apply on both sides, so a backwards 3 and a regular 3, on each side of your face. I also like using my bronzer as eyeshadow.
Josie Maran Argan High Gloss Lip Quench: It’s like argan oil in a tube. It’s a lip gloss but it’s super, duper shiny and moisturizing. It’s a clear, sheer color. I love wearing this over a matte lipstick and I also put it on before bed as a lip treatment.
Josie Maran Magic Marker in Flamenco: You can use this on your cheeks and on your lips. It’s super high pigmented. A great trick when using this is to pop out the Magic Marker back and you’ll get this little bit of color, which you can mix with rosewater or argan oil for your own stain/blush. I love the Flamenco, which is super red and the Quickstep which is a sheer berry.
Josie Maran Argan Eyeliner in Black Raven: It’s 100% natural and what I like to do is apply it on the rims [waterline] of my eyes. Then I put it on my top lash line, all the way out – I love to smudge this part.
Josie Maran Limited Edition Argan Eyeshadow Quad: This is perfect for a natural smokey eye. Going lightest to darkest with the four colors, I use my finger – usually my middle finger – to apply the lightest color all over the base of my eye and all the way up to my brow bone. It’s a highlighter shade. With the second color I put all over on the base and with the third color, I apply just on the outside corners of my eyes. I make a sideways “V” going from the outer corner of my eyelid. Finally, with the shimmering black color, I put it all over the black eyeliner that I applied over the lash line and I continue down to my lower lash line as well. With the highlighter shade, I put that on the inner corners of my eye. I finish this look off with my Josie Maran GOGO Instant Voluminizing Mascara. That’s my idea of the perfect smokey eye.
Josie Maran GOGO Instant Voluminizing Mascara: We have a Get One, Give One program, so for every one we sell, we give one to a woman recovering from cancer. This has a natural carbon black, so it’s super black and naturally good for you. It also has a triple V brush and that gives you triple volume. It separates itself and gives you big, full lashes and because of the argan oil in there, your lashes will still feel soft.
Josie Maran Color Stick in Rosy: For my day look, I wear tinted moisturizer, Rosy on my lips and my cheek, and my mascara. It’s a perfect sheer rose color that looks great on everyone. I don’t use a mirror when I apply. Because it’s sheer, I just pop it on my cheeks and blend with my fingers. On my lips, I use it like a chapstick. It’s my blush, my lip moisturizer, and also color for the day. And it’s an Allure Best of Beauty Winner!
Dr. Hauschka Lipstick in Sand Dune: I like this lipstick because it’s natural, very hydrating, and provides full coverage.
Josie Mara Argan Magic Marker Liquid Eye Liner in Cinnamon: I love a sleek cat-eye when I do a stained red lip – instead of a full-on smokey eye. I use my lightest color, Cinnamon, as my eyeshadow and then I apply my liquid black liner.
My sister-in-law has a company called Newbark and their bags come with these really cool inner pouches that snap into the purse. I use the inner pouches for my makeup.” -Josie Maran of Josie Maran Cosmetics
“Growing up, I lived in Brazil and every time I would travel to the states, I would always hit duty free and get one of those Chanel lipsticks. They smelled so distinct and I’d always buy at least one lipstick on my way home. I must have been ten and it was a special treat. As a kid, I would wear one lipstick for a long time; I was really loyal to that one color. I wasn’t wearing it to school at that point so it was just for fun.
My personal beauty philosophy has most definitely evolved. I went through a phase in the nineties where all I wore was blue eye shadow and super icy colors and I thought it looked really good to wear really light colors on your eyes. Then I realized, “Wow, that looks really cheesy.” Or I’d wear lots of mascara to the point where my sister would call me Tammy Faye. Now, because I work so much and I’m always wearing so much makeup, when I’m not working, I try to wear nothing — or a very little bit. I try to give my skin a rest.
Living in LA, SPF is a big part of my daily beauty routine. I was trying to find an all-natural one and it was really hard but my facialist, Terri Lawton, turned me onto one. It’s light so you can blend it. I don’t like sunscreen that’s super white — no one does. I don’t like anything that’s matte, I like my skin to be dewy.
I worked in New Orleans for about a month this summer [on a movie], and what I loved about the climate was how the humidity basically takes five years off of your skin. Your face just plumps up. I basically decided that I only want to work there, although that’s probably unrealistic.
I think I learn more from makeup artists when I work with them for red carpet events because the look isn’t designed for a character like it is on a TV show or movie; it’s designed for accentuating certain aspects of my face. They’ll teach me techniques that help me specifically. I noticed one makeup artist putting highlighter on my temples and around any dark areas and so I stole that. Although, I still haven’t been able to master putting on fake eye lashes – the separates. I think those are really natural. I’ve tried, but the glue is really hard and it stinks. I wish they could develop an all-natural glue. I’ve learned useful things, like lip liner and how to put it on so you don’t look like you walked out of the nineties. Or if there’s a product and I love the smell, like Whole Foods Vanilla Honey Lip Balm that a makeup artist recently used, and I went out and bought it.
I’m so grateful that Dry Bar opened in LA. At one point, my husband asked how many times a week I was going. I realized I was going like three times a week. With meetings and auditions, it’s just easier to go there. I don’t know how to curl my own hair. I can make it stick straight, but again that’s a little nineties, so now I get my hair blown out like twice a week. Sometimes I’ll let my hair dry naturally, put some Moroccan Oil in it to create beachy waves, but it’s kind of hit or miss. Now that my hair is short, it can get really frizzy.
I love manicures and pedicures. When I’m in New York, I go to i-Plaza where you can get a massage while you’re getting a manicure. I feel like it’s pretty indulgent and somewhat excessive but it’s so good. And it makes the manicure go by so much faster, too.
My makeup bag is a gold, Dr. Hauschka leather bag. If my purse is too heavy or I’m carry a small clutch, I’ll just bring blush and lip balm. Otherwise, here are the products that are in my makeup bag:
Tweezerman Brow Mousse – I have really thick brows and I need something to tame them. I use it when I remember.
Clinique Chubby Stick in Heaping Hazelnut – It’s a really neutral color, so it’s pretty whether you have makeup on or not. It’s definitely more of a daytime look and it’s also really moisturizing.
EO Hand Sanitizer – I love this stuff. It smells really good, this one is sweet orange. I use it a couple of times a day. I always have hand sanitizer with me, especially when you’re walking around the city all day. But it has to be the all-natural kind because I feel like Purell smells like a pint of vodka.
YSL Touche Eclat – I use the lightest shade. If you look tired, it immediately makes you look less tired. It enhances and brings light to your face. I think most people apply it to their under eyes, but I apply it to any dark spots, even a zit. A zit tends to be more red so I’ll put this on and it’ll act like a concealer.
Kevyn Aucoin Beauty ‘The Eye Pencil Primatif’ in Defining Navy – I love eyeliner because it adds depth to your eyes. I use it in my lower waterline at night or during the day if I have a meeting and I want to amp up my eyes. I like the navy because it’s a bit softer than black, a little less harsh but it’s not cheesy like the blue I used to rock in the nineties, so it’s a nice compromise.
Giorgio Armani Liquid Eyeliner – This is my favorite! I use it on my upper lid. I do a line; I might flair it out a bit but it’s not a super dramatic cat eye. I like to do what I can to open up my eyes. I prefer it in the pen form more because the pots get too messy and gloopy, but this one is pretty fail-safe, which is good.
Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Bronzing Veil in Tropical Nights – I like looking bronzy and I love that this one is shimmery. The important thing is to be conservative because I used to apply a bunch of bronzer on my cheekbones, my chin, my nose, and my forehead and I ended up looking ridiculous. A makeup artist taught me to balance out bronzer by putting some on your neck so that you don’t look like you’re two colors.
Liz Earle Healthy Glow Cream Blush in Rose and Nectar – These make you look young and dewy. You smile, put a little bit on the apple of your cheek, and it looks really fresh. Sometimes, I’ll wear the Coral, too – it’s really pretty. If I’m tan, I can get away with more pink like Nectar and if I’m not, I have to be a bit more subdued so I’ll wear Rose.
Guerlain Lip Liner Pencil in Bois Des Indes – It’s a really neutral shade. I rarely remember to put this on, but when I do I think it adds fullness to my lips. I line my lips, but I don’t go over my lip line because you need a really good makeup artist to do that. Otherwise you look ridiculous. I’ll fill in my lips with the Clinique Chubby Stick in Heaping Hazelnut or I’ll just do a little lip balm.
Armani Beauty Lipstick in 520 – When I’m not wearing neutral, I go for something super pink. It’s super sheer and moisturizing, which I like. I haven’t been able to perfect matte because I drink so much water and am constantly putting stuff in my mouth.
Naphcon-A Naphcon A Eye Allergy Relief Eye Drops – I love these because I have allergies. I really like the blue eye drops from Europe that are illegal here. Anytime a makeup artist has them on set, I put them in my eyes. It makes your whites really white.
Armani Beauty Eyes To Kill Mascara – I used to put mascara on and then I’d use that metal comb that deliniates every lash, but I find that I don’t need it with this mascara. It doesn’t get clumpy and it separates the lashes really well. If I’m going to wear one beauty product, it’s mascara because it really makes my eyes pop. I put it on top and bottom lashes.
Dr. Hauschka Translucent Bronze Concentrate – After putting on moisturizer and serum, I mix the bronzing gel and SPF in the palm of my hand and then apply to my face and neck. This way, I’m protecting my skin but also giving it a nice tan. I love to look tan.
Whole Foods Organic Vanilla Honey Lip Balm – I go through phases. I used to really like EOS, then the Dr. Hauschka lip balm. But this one is really moisturizing and it smells yummy and it’s organic. My lips get really dry so I’m always putting stuff on them.”
–Actress Jordana Brewster
Celebrity makeup artist Katey Denno (she works with Gwyneth Paltrow, Amanda Seyfried, Felicity Jones, and a slew of other A-listers) has an affinity for all-natural products. In an interview with Beauty Banter a couple of years ago, she said: “I began my career in social work helping women feel better, and I love that I still get to do just that every single day. I’m extremely passionate about the burgeoning green beauty component, and love finding out about new products made with ingredients that are safe enough to eat.” We caught up with Katey yet again to find out what are the latest and greatest green products in her makeup bag, and how we could curate our very own all-natural Labor Day beauty arsenal. Here are Katey’s current healthy skin and makeup staples:
1. RL Linden + Co Thousand Petal Beautifying Mist ($48) – This amazingly scented blend of hydrating and calming hydrosols, oils, and essences goes with me everywhere. It’s the first thing that goes on my face, and I refresh with it all day long. It doubles as my perfume and deodorant at times, too.
2. Jennette All Natural Skin Care, Potion #2 ($150) – After struggling with breakouts for most of my life, I reached my late 30’s and realized I’d neglected to use anti-aging serums in favor of anti-blemish treatments. Whoops! Luckily, this awesome LA-based facialist created a product that actually combats signs of aging for skin prone to acne. Hallelujah!
3. Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil ($40) – This oil is super hydrating but surprisingly light, and has absolutely helped turn back the clock on some of my sun damage. Three drops is all I need, every morning, and I’m hydrated throughout the day.
4. Ren Active 7 Eye Gel ($30) – I don’t like a heavy eye cream in the summer, so this light gel is perfect. It’s cooling and hydrating and is a great base for a touch of concealer.
5. Jane Iredale Lip Scrub ($25) – I love the sleek size of this container, and I think everyone should use a lip scrub, every day. It gets rid of the scaly flakiness before it starts and leaves lips feeling so healthy and hydrated in a way I never knew I needed, but now I can’t do without.
6. Utowa Eyelash Curler ($22) – I love the angle of the pad and the length of the head of the curler, and since I’ve been trying to go without mascara (really tough for a blonde lashed girl) this summer, a serious curl of the lashes is always my focus.
7. Nvey Eco Volumizing Mascara ($17) – Despite becoming more comfortable with my blonde lashes by day, when the sun goes down, I always feel the need to make my lashes stand out. A few coats of this is the perfect mid-weight way to accentuate lashes.
8. Ilia Cosmic Dancer Illuminator ($34) – This is such a staple in both my personal makeup kit and what I use for work. It melts into my skin, is just the right color for me (really a non-color), and I apply it with the tip of my ring finger to my cheek bones after blush, to my cupid’s bow, sometimes to my lips, and to my lids. A little goes a long way.
9. RMS Lip2Cheek in Demure ($36)- It’s a soft, cool pink with a lot of punch. I get compliments on my cheek color constantly when I wear this creamy, coconut-based shade. I’ll often press some into my lips as well, and top with some balm.
10. Bite Beauty Lip Crayon ($24) – For a more intense punch, I’ve been favoring this super easy to wear pop of deep fuschia. I’ll press it into my lips with my finger, and then blend what’s left on my finger onto the apples of my cheeks if I’m looking pale. It’s great for a sheer application for day, and fantastic with a more intense touch for night.
11. Dalish Illumination Concealer ($22) – This all-natural Canadian brand does a great job providing just enough coverage in the perfect texture – especially for summer. I like using the wand to lightly dot the product along the darkest portion of my under eye circles. Using a clean finger, I lightly press it in, making sure not to feather it to the outer edges – avoiding creasy crows feet at all costs!
12. Intelligent Nutrients Curly Hair Serum ($32) – My hair always wants to frizz. Nine out of ten times when someone compliments me on my hair, it’s because I’ve worked this product in while it was still damp, followed by another dollop of it once it dried. The scent is earthy and delicious and doesn’t attract bugs, which is often my gripe with other hair de-frizzing creams.
13. Ama.la Detoxifying Body Oil ($58) – I have about 25 bottles of body oil in my bathroom, and another 3-5 on my bedside table. Despite this, I never have trouble deciding which to use each day. I always know exactly which scent and viscosity I want based on the weather/time of year/state of my skin. This light, fresh fig, myrtle, and apricot kernel-infused oil is just what I crave towards the end of summer – both the lightweight, easily-absorbed aspect, and the addictive scent.
14. Dr. Hauschka Translucent Bronzing Tint ($45) – I love the look of bronzer, but hate the tell-tale ‘I used a bronzer’ look of most cream and liquids that are chock-full of reflective pigments and shimmer particles. This sheer, lightweight, super faint bronzing tint is moisturizing enough to use on its own, but I generally mix it with either my face oil and dab along the highlights of my face, or with body oil before I slather up my legs. I’m not sure if it really makes my cellulite disappear, but I think it does, and that’s all that matters.
15.Herban Essentials Towelettes ($16) – These are key for me because I apply everything with my hands, and I never want to touch my face unless my finger tips are freshly cleaned. The lavender scent is a total bonus, and serves a double duty, helping to keep bugs away.
*For more Katey, read her first makeup bag interview here.
“I grew up in a family of educators: My parents, both teachers, viewed each moment as an opportunity to learn something. During the summers, that often meant whisking us off to another country (or two, or three) where we’d spend every day visiting monuments and museums, taking breaks to enjoy local cuisine. My parents really invested in education, and a major part of that was introducing me to our larger world.
I didn’t appreciate all of that nearly enough as a child (shocking, I know), but I do now. I adore travel, whether I’m visiting an entirely new place or re-visiting a favorite one. It opens my mind to new things and new points of view, while at the same time reminding me of who I am. And I do think we can learn so much — so much — from people who see things differently from the way that we do.
Now that I have two kids, travel is different: Trips by myself, or with my husband, are warp-speed fast because we hate being away from the kids. And trips with the kids, who are still very young, involve toting insane amounts of luggage and looking for lodging with tons of space so that we have room to stretch out and a whisper of a shot at getting a good night’s sleep. But I generally find that packing for myself is a total breeze, especially during the summer, because my clothes are pretty simple and I have toiletry-packing down to a science.
These are some of my top end-of-summer picks that are great for travel, too.
M Picaut Hydra Miracle Serum ($105) – This is a weightless, line-plumping serum with two types of hyaluronic acid and a number of other ingredients (like tamarind fruit extract) that really help improve moisture content and boost elasticity in the skin, with no greasiness or weight. It’s a great product to use underneath a moisturizer while flying, or to “cut” an oil or lotion that is a little too heavy. I’ve been using it myself for the past month and love it.
BioRecept Hydra’Fluide ($42)- This is one of BioRecept’s best sellers at CityPharma — partly because it’s a great value, but mainly because it’s such a great product for combination skin, which so many people have. It sinks in for perfectly moisturized, soft skin with no shininess. In France, they describe it as “peau de pêche”: skin like a fresh peach.
BANXBlock Stick SPF 30 ($10) – BANXBlock is the official sunscreen of USA Water Polo, the LA County Lifeguards, and a bunch of professional paddleboarders and surfers. They love it because it’s zinc-based, non-greasy, and very water resistant: unlike a lot of other sticks, this one doesn’t melt and run into your eyes. It’s kind of a miracle. I keep one in my handbag wherever I go and use it on myself as well as my kids throughout the day (they love it, too). If you’re going to the beach, there’s nothing better to protect your face.
Suntegrity Lip CPR SPF 30 in Sunburst Pink ($28) – I was so excited when this lipstick came out: Many of us desperately need sunscreen on our lips, since that delicate skin is particularly susceptible to sun damage. But it’s always been hard to find a good lip SPF with physical sunscreen (one that uses minerals like zinc oxide rather than chemical sunscreens like oxybenzone, which has been linked to hormone-like activity in the body and can cause serious damage to coral reefs if you wear it in the ocean). This lipstick protects with super-safe zinc oxide AND has a beautifully deep, modern, mauve-y pink, so it’s a win-win.
Boucleme Hydrating Hair Cleanser ($25) – This shampoo was featured in Vogue for its ability to foster soft, bohemian waves. What’s nice about it as opposed to many other non-foaming curl cleansers is that it produces a mild lather to cleanse in a satisfying way without stripping. It also features Dead Sea salt to boost volume and scalp circulation, as well as a suite of oils to keep hair hydrated.
Les Fleurs de Bach Jet Lag Elixir ($37) – I swear by this product while traveling: I used it to help me avoid jet lag on a 3-day trip to Paris, and the time change between San Francisco and Paris didn’t bother me at all. (I forgot to take it on a similarly short trip to Florence a few months later, and I was a jet-lagged disaster.) Everyone who’s tested it for us has had great results, too. It’s amazing. And it’s safe for kids!
Les Fleurs de Bach SOS Cream ($26) – I can’t say enough good things about this little Parisian company! I love their SOS Cream, too. It’s great at calming random skin irritations, which tend to increase in the summertime — I just used it on my son’s face, which was covered with huge welts from some sort of bug attack, and he actually liked using it! I love its scent and texture so much that I use it as a hand cream. It’s just lovely.”
— Ayla Beauty Founder Dara Kennedy